Understanding What a Convention of States (COS) Might Be
The Convention of States movement is a call for an Article V convention to amend the US Constitution, within specified limits. This is not some kind of whack-o internet theory. State legislatures (multiple with more being added regularly) are moving on this. Some are in committee, some have moved on to the full Legislature. Please visit the embedded link for the most up to date information, including ways to get involved.
While the aim of this blog is to remain non-partisan, everyone I know on both sides of the aisle and sitting on the fence agrees that DC is broken. The corruption has seeped so deeply into it that it cannot, will not, fix itself. Any solution must come from outside, which leaves the whole mess on the states’ doorsteps. An Article V convention is the most logical solution, albeit one fraught with questions and concerns for many.
Since we have never had one, the specifics are unknown. How to call it, if the calls from the required 34 states (2/3 of all states) must be identical in wording or intent (e.g., if 17 have a call for term limits and 17 have a call for one for a balanced budget, must a convention be called?), and how can what delegates debate be controlled (is it even possible?) are just a few.
In addition, a little-noticed statement in Article V is “no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.” This means that the Senate will continue to have the same number of representatives from every state, regardless of size, unless every single state agrees. That means, quite simply, that there is no way our Senate, at least, can be changed very much because there is no way all 50 states would agree to it.
It is also unlikely that states would agree to anything that gives a great deal of additional power to the federal government simply because it’s a rare politician indeed who is not looking to increase the power of the institution (s)he works for.